Commuting in the heat - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Commuting in the heat

I am looking for some advice. I have this bike (had my old one) mainly for commuting to and from work to take some miles off my truck. My truck is 11 years old with 150k with my plan to run it to 200k and look for a replacement. The idea was to stretch that timeline out an extra year or two by commuting with the bike. Between dropping off/picking up kids for daycare and Memphis heat that's difficult to do.

For those of you that commute to work in the Southeast USA, how do you do it in the summer? Typical July-September day in Memphis is 80+ F temps before 8am with 80%+ humidity. For example: It is cloudy this morning, and at 9:30am it's already 85F and 80% humidity (it was 90% this morning on my way to work) with a "feels like" temp of 95F. Even in my truck I'm sweating by the time I get to work. Do you just take an extra set of clothes? Shower at work? Right now my commute is 9 miles one way on city streets with about 10 stop lights. Starting November my commute will be about 15 miles one way on the interstate with only 2 stop lights so more moving, less sitting.

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post #2 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 12:17 PM
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Damn I thought it was hot in California. Humidity sucks unless you're a plant or a reptile.

We do get our heat waves from July-Sep. But my commute is early in the morning before 8AM and on the freeways moving at 85 mph so even the ride home is nice. But years ago when my commute was all city, the ride home with so many signal lights can get a bit uncomfortable if I hit too many red lights. Nothing that really bothered me though because by the time I started to sweat the light would change and I was rolling again with air flowing around me. I do have a mesh jacket and mesh gloves so that helps a lot.

However, I NEVER run errands when it's that hot and humid. That right there gets miserable! As long as I have air flowing around me I'm ok 90% of the time. It's when I have to stop for long periods next to vehicles emitting all kinds of heat, or I have to troll around a parking lot looking to park to run an errand.
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post #3 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Even in jeans and a T shirt (yeah, yeah, ATGATT) I am sweating within 2 minutes being on the bike even while moving. Because it's so humid the sweat never evaporates. I have basically a shaved head, and by the time I get to work after 20 minutes sweat is rolling down my face.

Kind of hard to justify it as a commuter vehicle when I can only ride it for about 3 months during the year unless I buy $800 worth of cold gear.

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post #4 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 05:56 PM
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During the coldest months I wear a full sleeve heated jacket liner and heated gloves. It is a pleasure to ride even when it's so cold and nobody else wants to ride.
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post #5 of 35 Old 07-19-2019, 10:21 PM
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Be glad you're not on a Harley. I'm in Houston (hot and high humidity), ride a Road King, and with that big air-cooled V-twin pumping out heat between my legs in Houston traffic it does get warm. I thrive in the heat, and can get to work without getting too sweaty.

Doesn't help you much, but just sayin' ...could be worse.

PS, I'm thinking about buying a N1K (which is why I'm on the forum), to have in addition to my HD. One of the things I'd be looking forward to is the reduction in heat while sitting at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.
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post #6 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 01:52 AM
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When I've ridden in extremely hot and humid conditions (such as Southwestern monsoons) by far the best cooling came from downing icy drinks like a Slurpee. It's using the Latent Heat of Fusion to your advantage. Once ingested, melting this icy mixture absorbs BTUs from your body which drops core temperature. This is NOT the same as consuming a drink with ice cubes that remain in the glass, you must ingest the ice to experience this effect.

A white helmet and white or very light-colored gear will also help, a lot. I suspect that the real fix is that new truck...how much suffering can a guy take? Heat-related illnesses are extremely dangerous and when one's judgment begins failing from overheating...on a motorcycle...
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post #7 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 02:21 AM
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This bandana contains a gel that you freeze before using, similar to blue ice. It does not rely on evaporative cooling, which as you know is ineffective in high humidity.

https://www.amazon.com/Icy-Cools-Ice.../dp/B01GUBKFSO
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post #8 of 35 Old 07-20-2019, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdw View Post
PS, I'm thinking about buying a N1K (which is why I'm on the forum), to have in addition to my HD. One of the things I'd be looking forward to is the reduction in heat while sitting at stop lights and in stop and go traffic.
It won't be AS bad but remember you're still above a big hot motor with catalytic converter. The Kawi has excellent air management and keeps the heat off the rider when moving but sitting still the heat still rolls up off the engine and cat.
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post #9 of 35 Old 07-21-2019, 11:59 AM
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I did a 300 kms ride this morning in the Indian heat and I was surprised by the amount of heat that the catcon generates. It is quite high compared to the Z800 and didn't expect it to be so high.

Ride hard, ride safe.

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post #10 of 35 Old 07-22-2019, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the cat definitely pumps out some heat. I guess I'll just suffer through it, and maybe shower at work. I'm hoping when we move into the new house the commute won't be so bad because it'll be mostly interstate.

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